DSL NewsWire: DTH Exists to Prove That, in Ballet, Color Doesn’t Matter

Dance Theatre of Harlem; photo by Rachel Neville

“Panel after panel convenes to ask why there are not more dancers of color in ballet. My heart sinks every time. Where is Dance Theatre of Harlem in this conversation?” asks DTH artistic director and former professional dancer Virginia Johnson in a column in Huffington Post.

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DSL NewsWire: Series Seeks To Address Lack of Female Ballet Choreographers

Gleish Dances; photo Kelsey Campbell

CounterPointe3, the third edition of an annual curated performance series that features 11 women choreographers making new work en pointe, will run April 10 to 12 in downtown Brooklyn’s The Actors Fund Arts Center.

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DSL NewsWire: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s Closing a Cautionary Tale

Jin Young Lin of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet; photo by Andrea Mohin/New York Times

With a wealthy patron who loved dance, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet was the envy of many in New York’s dance world.

But the perils of relying on a single donor became clear this month when Cedar Lake’s founder and benefactor—Nancy Laurie, a Walmart heiress—had a change of heart and announced that she would close the company after performances in June at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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DSL NewsWire: Stellar Performances Mark Competition for Erik Bruhn Prize

Hannah Fischer; photo by Bruce Zinger

The National Ballet of Canada’s Hannah Fischer and Carlo Di Lanno of San Francisco Ballet were winners at The Eleventh International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize, held Tuesday night at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, according to CBC News.

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DSL NewsWire: David Hallberg Presents Ballet Companies That Influenced Him

David Hallberg; photo courtesy David H. Koch Theater

David Hallberg will introduce top international ballet companies and share an insider’s perspective on the works and the institutions that have left an indelible impression on him as an artist during “David Hallberg Presents: Legacy,” to be presented in association with the Youth America Grand Prix, April 17 at 7pm at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, New York City.

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DSL NewsWire: Bolshoi’s Galina Petrova, Who Danced in the ’30s, Dies at Age 101

Former principal ballet dancer of the Bolshoi Theater, choreography teacher, and merited artist of the Russian Federation, Galina Petrova, died in Moscow last week. She was 101, the press service of the Bolshoi Theater reported in Tass.

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DSL NewsWire: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Announces Closure

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet; photo by Andrea Mohin/New York Times

“We are sad to announce the closing of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet,” the company announced on its website. “It has been our honor to work with some of the best dancers and choreographers in the world and we thank all of our valued employees who helped create many inspirational productions over the years.” It was not immediately clear what led to the decision to close.

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DSL Newswire: Ric Burns’ Documentary American Masters: American Ballet Theatre Screens March 23

American Masters: ABT; photo courtesy PBS

The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage hosts the world premiere screening of American Masters: American Ballet Theatre on Monday, March 23 at 6pm in the Terrace Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

American Masters: American Ballet Theatre, a feature-length documentary produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns, celebrates ABT’s legacy through rehearsal footage, performances, and interviews with key figures from the company’s rich history.

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DSL Newswire: Bolshoi Ballet Coming to Movie Theaters

Svetlana Zakharova in Lady of the Camellias; photo by Svetlana Fetisova, courtesy Bolshoi Ballet

The 2015–16 season of “Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema,” presented by Pathé Live and BY Experience, will show seven full-length ballets—three prerecorded (so the casts are known) and four shown live or on the day of performance—in some 450 spots across the United States and Canada, reports the New York Times ArtsBeat.

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DSL NewsWire: Precious Puppies Help to Ease Job Stress at American Ballet Theatre

ABT’s Lauren Post and Pickles; photo courtesy Instagram

Ballet dancers have a tough life: so how about a softer, cuddlier look at the dance life, thanks to Instagram.

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DSL NewsWire: Supporters Speak Out with Checkbooks, Save Financially-Strapped Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose dancers Jing Zhang, Amy Marie Briones, and Ommi Pipit-Suksun; photo courtesy Facebook

California’s Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley successfully overshot its do-or-die fundraising goal over the weekend by almost $100,000, reported the Contra Costa Times.

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DSL NewsWire: Online Resource Offers Ballet Curriculums, Lesson Plans, Music

The Ballet Source; photo courtesy Facebook

The Ballet Source is an online resource for teachers of ballet with students from age 3 through the high school years based on the “Ballet Arts for Young Children” curriculum written and developed by the late Ruth H. Brinkerhoff, former director of the Utah Ballet Academy.

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DSL NewsWire: Choreographer and Students Discover Limitations Can Spur Creativity

“Ten Tiny Dances;” photo courtesy Kali Raisl

“Ten Tiny Dances,” a Tacoma, Washington, dance event that raises funds for scholarships at Tacoma City Ballet, sets a challenge for choreographers and dancers: to fit expressive movement into short works on a 4-by-4-foot stage set squarely in the middle of an audience.

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DSL NewsWire: Master Pointe Shoe Fitter Shares Her Knowledge on YouTube Channel

Mary Carpenter and DancewithmaryNYC; photo courtesy Mary Carpenter

When Mary Carpenter started work at a small Repetto boutique in New York City in order to get a discount on dancewear, little did she know that that job would guide her to a flourishing career as a professional pointe shoe fitter and, most recently, producer of her own YouTube channel, DancewithmaryNYC, geared to “all things pointe shoes.”

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DSL NewsWire: William Forsythe Discusses His Ballets in Live-Streamed PNB Event

PNB dancers Elizabeth Murphy and Jerome Tisserand; photo courtesy Facebook

A special lecture-demonstration at Pacific Northwest Ballet led by legendary choreographer William Forsythe will be streamed live tonight (Wednesday, March 11) on the eve of the first American program devoted entirely to his work.

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DSL NewsWire: Brazilian Ballet Class Shields Poverty-Stricken Children from Crime

Ballet in Paraisopolis, Brazil; photo courtesy Fox News

It is 10am and classical music is playing in the Paraisopolis “favela,” the second-largest shantytown in São Paulo, Brazil. Twenty children have already been practicing for an hour under a stern ballet instructor. The dance class is, in fact, also an effort to fight crime.

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DSL NewsWire: Richmond Ballet Turns to Heavy Metal Front Man for Latest Score

Randy Blythe of Lamb of God; photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty

It’s not often that the lead singer of a heavy metal band that Rolling Stone described as “too brutal for thrash” would provide the score for a ballet, but Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe is defying expectations by contributing music to a friend’s dance project.

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DSL NewsWire: Struggling Ballet San Jose Launches Emergency Fundraising Drive

Ballet San Jose; photo by Alejandro Gomez

Financially troubled Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley has to raise $550,000 by March 14 or face its possible swan song, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

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DSL NewsWire: David Hallberg To Miss Spring ABT Season Due to Injury

David Hallberg; photo by Gene Schiavone

David Hallberg, the American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, is injured and will not perform during the company’s Metropolitan Opera House season, reported the New York Times ArtsBeat.

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DSL NewsWire: Edward Villella’s Choreography Featured in Televised Ice Show

Meryl Davis and Charlie White; photo courtesy Shall We Dance On Ice

Miami Ballet founder and former New York City Ballet principal Edward Villella is also an accomplished choreographer for ice skaters. One of his pieces, “The Three Smokers,” will be featured during ABC-TV’s Shall We Dance On Ice, airing March 7 at 4pm EST.

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DSL NewsWire: Backstage Drama at ABT as Head Carpenter Claims Wrongful Firing

Frank La Mantia; photo by James Estrin/New York Times

Frank La Mantia worked backstage for more than two decades at American Ballet Theatre, earning one promotion after another despite his famously hot temper. In the process, he became the head carpenter and the company became his home away from home, the place where he found some of his closest friends and his sense of identity. But today, La Mantia and ABT are at war, according to the New York Times. La Mantia has lost his job, and the bitter dispute over his firing has landed one of the city’s most acclaimed cultural institutions in court.

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March-April 2015 | 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Finger Turns

Photo by Becky Montalvo

For successful finger turns, it’s important for the female partner to ronde de jambe her working leg a full 90 degrees, from devant to à la seconde, before pulling it back into a turned-out passé.

As pairs practice, have them work together to find equal opposing force between the female dancer’s supporting arm and the male dancer’s push-off arm.

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DSL NewsWire: NYCB’s Art Series Fills Seats with Younger (Hipper) Audience Members

There seemed to be an explosion of young men in knit caps and young women in leather pants watching as New York City Ballet recently performed a trio of Balanchine classics. In fact, according to the New York Times, the average age in the David H. Koch Theater seemed to have dropped by years, if not decades.

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DSL NewsWire: Website Assists New Professional Dancers by Comparing Pay, Conditions

A website comparing dancers’ pay and conditions across the world has been launched to inform young dancers starting their careers, according to The Stage.

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DSL NewsWire: South Carolina Artists Follows Collaborative Example of Ballets Russes

What do you get when you combine a driven, neoclassical choreographer with a business-savvy impresaria and an Irish feminist composer? You get the newly formed Ballet Evolution, a collective of artists led by choreographer Jonathan Tabbert, Chamber Music Charleston director Sandra Nikolajevs, and composer and performer Laura Ball.

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DSL NewsWire: Creator of Company That Honors All Body Shapes and Sizes Retires from Stage

Maria Caruso has made her mark on the Pittsburgh dance scene by telling other people’s stories through her medical-themed ballets performed by her company, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet.

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DSL NewsWire: Carla Körbes This Year’s Artist-in-Residence at Vail Festival

Carla Körbes, the Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer who announced last year that she would retire at the end of this season, will be the artist-in-residence at this year’s Vail International Dance Festival, according to the New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog.

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DSL NewsWire: ENB Plans Revolutionary All-Female Choreographed Showcase

Tamara Rojo, artistic director of English National Ballet, raised the game of the entire ballet profession last week by announcing a program of all-female choreography for ENB’s 2015–16 season.

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DSL NewsWire: Charlotte Ballet Steps Into Void Left by Charleston Ballet Theatre’s Closure

Large-scale professional ballet has been absent from the local scene since Charleston [SC] Ballet Theatre shut down operations in early 2013, ending a 26-year run.

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DSL NewsWire: Ballet Training Helps Aerialist to Capture U.S. Championship Title

Skills Rebekah Burke learned during years of ballet and gymnastics classes helped her earn a win in the recent U.S. Aerial Championships in New York City.

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DSL NewsWire: Boston Ballet’s Versatile Leading Man, Yury Yanowsky, To Retire

After 22 years with the company, Boston Ballet principal guest artist Yury Yanowsky is retiring from dancing to focus on choreographing. And he’s going out in style: Yanowsky and his wife, Boston Ballet principal dancer Kathleen Breen Combes, are scheduled to dance the lead roles of Armand and Marguerite on opening night of Val Caniparoli’s The Lady of the Camellias on February 26.

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DSL NewsWire: Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker to Retire; New One by Wheeldon on Way

If one of your holiday traditions is to see the Joffrey Ballet’s production of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, this will be your last year to do so.

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DSL NewsWire: Australian YAGP Winner Takes Top Prize at Prix de Lausanne as Well

When 15-year-old Australian ballet dancer Harrison Lee took top prize this month at the Prix de Lausanne, he showed his trademark control when called forward from a line of finalists—some three and four years his senior.

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DSL NewsWire: Longtime Director of St. Croix Ballet, Karla Sweeney, Loses Battle With Cancer

Karla Sweeney, 66, the founder and longtime director of St. Croix Ballet in Stillwater, Minnesota, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and had been in hospice for more than a year, died last Thursday.

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DSL NewsWire: Center for Ballet and the Arts Welcomes New Thinkers

Puppeteer Basil Twist, singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, baroque dance specialist Béatrice Massin, and New York University philosopher Tamsin Shaw are among the new group of fellows who will be in residence at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, the first international institute devoted to the creation and study of ballet.

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DSL NewsWire: Carolina Ballet Dancer Brings Tutu School Franchise to East Coast

Lara O’Brien, a principal dancer with Carolina Ballet, has signed an agreement to open the first Tutu School franchise outside of California with a new location opening in downtown Raleigh in the spring.

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DSL NewsWire: List of the Day: Top 10 Richest Dancers

Who are the world’s richest dancers? As Insider Monkey lists the top 10 richest dancers, it notes that not every dancer is rewarded in the same way, and net worth doesn’t always depend on talent and uniqueness.

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DSL NewsWire: Adult Ballet Class: It’s A Joy To Dance At Any Age

“Those of us in the Saturday morning adult ballet class at Casco Bay Movers studio in Portland recently learned a new word: to ‘balter,’ as defined by the urban dictionary, is ‘to dance artlessly, without particular grace or skill but usually with enjoyment,’ ” writes Stephanie Eglinton in an editorial column about her adult ballet class printed in the Portland [ME] Press Herald.

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DSL NewsWire: Writer Dad Praises Special Bond Between Ballerinas and Dads

Being a ballet dad is about showing up, being there, and putting your whole heart into it, writes Huffington Post contributor Richard Greenberg, along with “teaching your child how to cope with hurt feelings, how to redirect frustration, and how to avoid being diminished by the behavior of others.”

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DSL NewsWire: Acclaimed Choreographer William Forsythe Joins Paris Opera Ballet

In a major coup, Paris Opera Ballet has secured one of the dance world’s biggest names, William Forsythe, as the company’s associate choreographer, reported the New York Times.

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DSL NewsWire: Baryshnikov, Lil’ Buck Sell Menswear in Stylish Ad Video

For their fall 2015 menswear collection presentation, Rag & Bone forwent the traditional runway and instead created a short film featuring iconic ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and street dancer Lil’ Buck.

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DSL NewsWire: American/Canadian Ballet Companies Benefit from Exchange Program

Alberta Ballet is participating in an exchange with the Houston Ballet in the hopes of exposing audiences in both cities to vibrant new talent. The Canadian company danced in Houston, Texas, at the end of January, reported CBC News.

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DSL NewsWire: Awareness and Understanding Lead to Safe Turnout, Story Says

The activity of turning out, or external hip rotation, is one that is highly desired by dancers of every genre at one time or another, but especially by dancers of classical ballet. Although dancers are taught to turn their feet out, it is often unclear to what degree and how to properly achieve the desired turnout.

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DSL NewsWire: Boston Ballet’s Petite Dancer Stands Tall Against Size Limitations

Japanese-born ballerina Misa Kuranaga has been a Boston Ballet principal since 2009 in spite of a physical build that would normally be considered unsuited to the art. The BDC Wire reported that in a recent interview with the Huffington Post, the ballerina opened up about her struggle making her presence known in the world of ballet and how she overcame what others perceived as limitations.

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DSL NewsWire: NYCB Choreographer Justin Peck’s Star is on the Rise

“I’m not really conscious of how to provoke interest,” offers Justin Peck, which is a little strange, given just how much interest the choreographer and New York City Ballet dancer is getting these days. On February 6, Magnolia Pictures will release Ballet 422, Jody Lee Lipes’ feature-film documentary of the making of Peck’s Paz de la Jolla.

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DSL NewsWire: Volunteer Guys Step Up and Help with Pas De Deux Classes

For his first show with the Gainesville [GA] Ballet Company, John Lilly apparently put his bloomers on backward. Later, the clothing apparel fell to his knees during a ballroom dancing scene in Cinderella.

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February 2015 | Ballet Scene | Offstage Insights


In ballet, many are called but few are chosen, and tradition has long held that no one is obliged to explain why one dancer makes the cut and another does not. That wasn’t the case for contestants at last June’s USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) in Jackson, Mississippi. Dancers who did not advance through the rounds—or receive the award or medal they hoped for—could uncover the secrets of that elusive “why not me” by participating in the IBC’s Competitor Evaluation Program.

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February 2015 | 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Glissades in Petit Allegro

Photo by Becky Montalvo

Glissades are common connecting steps for jumps and therefore important for students to master. There are two major types: 1) glissades in petit allegro, which close in fifth position, and 2) glissades in medium or grand allegro, which failli through fifth to end in or continue through fourth position.

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February 2015 | Teacher in the Spotlight | Chauniece Conner Thompson

Chauniece Thompson makes sure students such as Morgan Rucker are prepared for every dance opportunity. Photo by Antoine Lever

NOMINATED BY: Joy Sheffield, friend: “Chauniece opened Ballet on Wheels in 2002 to help build a better Memphis community through dance. Chauniece ensures her students are well-prepared for every dance opportunity. She gives her dance staff full discretion in their classrooms and encourages them to come up with innovative ideas to engage students in the classroom and through community-based dance programs. She’s making a positive impact on her students, staff, and community.”

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